Tag Archives: short stories

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2019 – Coming soon!

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I love a short story anthology, don’t you? It’s like a box of assorted chocolates –  if you don’t look at the menu card, you can be surprised and delighted by what you find inside.

The Ghostly Writes Anthology 2019 by Plaisted Publishing House, will feature a host of fabulous authors, each sharing a very special ghost story with you.

This year, my story is called ‘Charlotte’s Ghost’. Here’s the blurb for your delectation and delight….

It’s the summer of 1850. Newly widowed Aunt Winifred and her daughters, move into the Johnson country house, threatening to ruin Charlotte’s happy life with her parents. When her loathsome, tale telling cousins insist on being included, Charlotte uses the opportunity to restore Lady Mary’s missing jewels and preserve the secret of her personal ghost forever.

The awesome Eve Merrick-Williams also has a story in this year’s anthology. ‘Perchance to Dream’

There’s ‘Primrose Point’ by Mara Reitsma and ‘The Lighthouse’ by Michael Lynes

Publication day is Wednesday 31st October so look out for the promotions! I’ll be sure to post nearer the date with more teasers and links to where you can download your copy.

 

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Life Begins at Fifty – Healthy Life #15 – Everything is changing

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Finding the perfect, balanced vegan diet for my body is taking time, but I’m enjoying the challenge. Abandoning calorie restriction was the best move I made, as I’m loving eating bowls of plant based whole foods and feeling full and energised…and I’ve lost another two pounds.

Due to my daughter asking to come and live with us in June this year, everything has changed, and that’s one reason I’ve not been posting as much. I’ve taken my books to book fairs…

But there’s been little time for writing as I’ve been lime mortaring and painting to get a room ready for my daughter.

My eldest son married this year too, so it’s been a summer of family love.

The biggest change is the best one, and I’m going to shout about it….I’VE MORE ENERGY THAN I’VE EVER HAD! Eating a whole food plant based diet keeps me fuller for longer and nourishes my body so well. I’ve enjoyed my dance so much this year too, now I bend in the middle again! I’m not the same shape as I was, that’s definitely changed, but I don’t care…I can fit in my jeans and I feel well and healthy.

My lack of novel writing made me sad and angsty for a while, so I started writing short stories again and had a few published…

Witch Lit: Words from the Cauldron was produced by myself and the rest of the Witch Lit Admin team, Laura Perry, Sheena Cundy and Ruth Aitken. All proceeds go to Books for Africa https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witch-Lit-Witches-Who-Write-ebook/dp/B07SCVXR88

Zimbell House publishing brought out 1969, and my story is the first one in it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/1969-Zimbell-House-Anthology-Publishing-ebook/dp/B07S2L2HQX

But as the Wheel turns, making its way into autumn, I’m back writing ‘The Able Witch’, the fifth book in the Lizzie Martin series. Once its finished, I’ll continue with the final book, before publishing four, five and six for your enjoyment. You can start the series here https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV

or here for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV

Don’t forget, you can listen to me reading you stories on my Welsh riverbank at Phoenix and the Dragon on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA?view_as=subscriber

Plus I’m talking books and everything magical on the Witch Lit Podcast, as well as interviewing other magical writers https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHtAJO5uh6c9TSai1lhwF7g

I’ve continued my daily walks and using Dr Gregor’s Daily Dozen App, but I don’t worry too much about my activity levels anymore. I know that if I eat whole food plant based, and take my B12 supplement, I’m taking in all the nutrition and goodness my body needs. If I want a berry, banana and spinach smoothie, I’ll have one! I drink two or three mugs of hibiscus tea daily, which I love, boosting my antioxidants and keeping the colds away. I dance a minimum of six hours a week, not including performances, and I’ve been barrowing, chopping wood, fixing barns and moving stuff outside….

So I won’t be joining the gym anytime soon!

Apologies for my lack of posting, but I’m starting to create a new routine out of all these changes, and I’ll be back soon trying out new recipes and sharing useful and informative posts and videos to inspire you to eat well, nourish your body and live your life to the full. Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

Ghostly Writes Anthology – now open to submissions!

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If you enjoy a good read, read on!

Reading anthologies is a fabulous way to find new authors, whose writing style you enjoy. I’ve contributed two so far, to Plaisted Publishing House, and they are now open to submissions for their new Ghostly Writes Anthology. Visit the group for details https://www.facebook.com/groups/GhostlyWritesAnthology/

The group is friendly, helpful and supportive, and everyone’s story gets a teaser to boost the anthology before it’s published.

This was my one from last year, when I wrote a steampunk ghost story. You can download your copy here for FREE https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghostly-Anthology-Plaisted-Publishing-Presents-ebook/dp/B07JMHWMZN

or for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Ghostly-Anthology-Plaisted-Publishing-Presents-ebook/dp/B07JMHWMZN

 

I’d better get writing and get my new story finished! Be sure to look out for the new Ghostly Writes Anthology at the end of October 2019!

 

 

Changing my routine

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I’m a creature of habit who loves a routine, but I don’t want to get stuck in a rut, especially if the routine is an ‘old story’ I’d do best to forget and write a new one.

With three weeks to go before I needed to go back to teaching dance four times a week, I wanted to re-establish the important routines in my life.

The first step was to get back into my daily walking routine. I hadn’t stopped walking each morning, first thing, but I’d been doing less steps then, and far less during the day, as my time was spent renovating. Now that’s done, I’ve created a new morning walk that is working towards clocking up 3.5k steps and 30 minutes of active exercise on my Fitbit.

I started with 2.5k and 20 minutes, which was fine as I’ve also got back to pulling brambles and nettles, and barrowing stones, so they clocked up extra active minutes, but by pushing over the 30 minutes in the morning, I’m guaranteeing myself the minimum every day, and setting myself up to achieve a minimum of 10k steps too.

My 5 minute arm workout is also back as a daily one, especially as I’m not dancing as much at the moment. I was thrilled with how toned my arms looked in my sleeveless dress at my son’s wedding, and I want to keep them that way for as long as possible!

Having used Dr Gregor’s Daily Dozen App for over a six months, I’ve been able to keep my diet pretty balanced, and get the nutrients I’ve needed, but I have been eating a little more than I’ve needed. Vegan Magnum ice lollies are delicious, but don’t count as a whole food, unfortunately, so they, and a tendency to eat dates by the handful, need to be kept under control. I’m keen to return to eating until I’m full and then stopping, as the healthiest way to eat on a whole food plant based diet.

I’ve committed myself to more magic on my river bank than I have been this year so far. At the last full moon, I set off a powerful healing spell for a friend, that was added to and boosted by other magical creatives, and I’m happy to say our friend is a lot better.

But I’ve struggled to get back into a writing routine. I’m used to days, or big chunks of days, where my partner is at work and I can write. Even with a few hours to myself, I’m not writing, so I decided to hold myself to account. I have to write for ten minutes every day. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I have to sit and write for a minimum of ten minutes.

I’ve six short pieces so far (more by the time you read this!), some of which could be longer stories, or even novels.

Visit again for Holding myself to account, and a chance to have your say as to how I should expand my writing.

 

Words from the Cauldron released today! Happy Summer Solstice!

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Today is the publication day for the Witch Lit anthology, Words from the Cauldron, a fabulous book of short stories, essays and poems by twenty three Witches Who Write.

Witch Lit is a new, exciting genre, showcasing creative writing of all kinds, by witches. Magic is part of who we are, and emerges in song and story, poem and essay, as Witch Lit.

This anthology is a great way to explore a writer’s style, and for just 99p or $1.24, and with all proceeds going to Books for Africa, you’ve nothing to lose by downloading this magical book.

Summer solstice blessings and enjoy a magical weekend.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Witch-Lit-Witches-Who-Write-ebook/dp/B07SCVXR88

https://www.amazon.com/Witch-Lit-Witches-Who-Write-ebook/dp/B07SCVXR88

 

Free books

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Six years ago, soon after I joined Facebook and Twitter, I made all five of my books written at the time free, to celebrate a large birthday with a five in it. Free books were the ‘done’ thing to attract readers and reviews. I remember watching the download figures soar beyond the thousands. I believed readers would love my books and review them, drawing more readers to buy my books, and my writing career would take off. I’d sit every day, writing books while publishers clamoured over my titles.

From more than 5k downloads I received 0 reviews. No one bought my books.

I was naive…and stupid. There were godzillions of free books at the time (kindles were new) and so readers downloaded everything they saw that was free. Most people read none of them. Once again, I was a new writer full of new stories to tell, but no one to listen to them.

From then on, I thought long and hard about what I was willing to write for free.

In 2015 I put myself on a short story writing ‘course’, aiming to write, edit and submit one new story each week to a competition, magazine or anthology, hoping that at least one story out of 52 would be a good one. I managed 44 and had 10 of those published online or in anthologies. I was only paid for one of them, but even now, the anthologies I participated in are being downloaded and purchased, providing a link to my website and therefore to me. I view them as advertising, plus the year I spent honing my short story skills taught me a lot, and my novel writing improved because of it.

I still write short stories, some of which you can listen to for FREE on my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

From 9th – 14th October, you can download The Naked Witch, the first book in the Lizzie Martin Witchlit series for FREE…because I’m confident you will want to read more. Six years on, I’m a better writer, I’ve more books for you all to enjoy, and I’m sure you’ll love Lizzie Martin and her battle between her heart and her head. I’m not looking for thousands of random downloads, but looking to reach readers who enjoy a cracking story, great characters and a little humour in their books, and who’ll love to read more in the future.

I’ll let Lizzie introduce herself…

Hi, I’m Lizzie and I’m a witch. Not that I wear a pointy hat and travel to work on a broomstick! In fact, unless you get to know me well, you would never know. I live my life following the Sacred Wheel of the Year and use magic in my daily life. I might draw a single card from my Tarot pack, set a candle spell working or consult with Cerridwen and her cauldron but even if my focus is not on a magical act or ritual, the Wheel turns and I move with it.

I was a ‘ginger’ at school but if you’re going to label me, I’d prefer redhead. I love wearing bright clothes that compliment rather than clash. Paisley, velvet and Indian fabrics are my favourite, swathing my body in colour and light. I’ve never felt the need to show off my figure so I let my clothes do the talking. I rarely have to do more than smile, which I prefer. I learned to be quiet at an early age while my parents argued.

I’m not a great one for shouting. At our old house, I avoided the neighbourhood squabbles and gossip, preferring peace to provocation. I got on well with everyone but had no particular friends. My fault? Probably but I’m a private person and I worry about sharing too much of myself with strangers. At our new house, it’s different. Mr Brody is our next door neighbour, his house adjoins ours, so we met on the day Rowan and I moved in. I was worried about Rowan’s music disturbing him and he was embarrassed that his TV would annoy us!

Louise and I are friends, good ones I hope. She’s one of the security guards in the building where I work. She’s raven haired and vivacious, completely different from me, but they say opposites attract. She’s kind and funny and that’s why I like her.

With Josh, my ex-husband, out of my life, Rowan is my family. My father died when I was young. He is my first thought on waking, while my mother and I struggle to form any kind of relationship, even now. Affectionate isn’t a word I use to describe her. Some days, I don’t think she cares about me at all, but she’s Rowan’s Granny, so I do the best I can. Marsha, on the other hand, Josh’s mum is a sweetheart. She continues to treat me as family, phoning for advice about her dreams and welcoming Rowan to her villa in Spain every year.

‘Call yourself a witch! Where’s the magic?’ I hear you ask. At the bottom of my garden is a little wooden shed that I call Sanctuary. Rowan calls it my ‘Mum cave’. Within its warm and welcoming walls, I draw and paint and surround myself with magic.

Download The Naked Witch for FREE today, and begin the adventure https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

and for my friends across the pond https://www.amazon.com/Naked-Witch-Wendy-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B06W5D6GVV/ref

New moon blessings to you all xx

 

 

 

 

Story matters

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And in this case, it is one particular story that matters. It’s a story I’m sharing with you all because it marks a defining moment in my writing.

This story is the culmination of eight years of writing and publishing novels.

I began writing about high magic and the Wheel of the Year in the two books published so far in the Lilith Trilogy, Destiny of Angels and Wrath of Angels. In both books, Angel Parsons travels the paths of the witches Qabalah and celebrates the Sabbats with her friends. I had read all of Dion Fortune’s books and wanted more.

The Standing Stone book series picks up the threads of the Sabbats of the previous novels, setting the lives of the three women lead characters to be directly affected and influenced by the changing seasons on the Wheel of the Year. These books were inspired by my own arrival in Wales and the luxury of owning land, including a riverbank and the luxuriousness and diversity of the Welsh landscape.

‘Last chance for love’ is Sally’s story, a modern witch using magic in her daily life but mixing it up, using whatever assistance feels right to her to aid her in her last hope. Reading it now, I find it a little ‘clunky’ compared to the Wendy Woo Witch Lit Novels, The Lizzie Martin Series, but this story was the stepping stone to the WitchLit I write now.

This story matters. This story led me to an opportunity to share with every reader the ways that they can be empowered to bring a little magic to their own lives in whatever way they like.

WitchLit is easy to read but eloquent. WitchLit tells a good, simple story, and then you begin to peel away the layers to reveal its complexity.

Sign up for my newsletter today and receive your copy of ‘Last chance for love’.

http://wendysteele.us15.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bd3cc38cba01c2dea4a5f386f&id=6210056252

 

 

The Music and the Magic

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Following a successful day at the Narberth Book Fair last week, where I gave my talk ‘Magic, Witchlit and a vote for women’s fiction’ for the first time, an idea for a short story arrived in my head.

Within hours, I had a beginning, a middle and an ending. The next day, I began to write.

This time of year, after the autumn equinox, wending our way to Samhain, it is time to look back and reflect on the year that has gone but also to be open to new ideas and change.

The story that emerged from my pen, The Music and the Magic, reflects these changes, not only in my protagonist’s life but in mine, yours, our local community and the world.

We live in an ever changing world, political decisions seeming beyond our remit to influence or change, but in our own way, in small important ways, we can make a difference. By supporting and being active to promote kindness and thoughtfulness, we can change our world for the better.

It wasn’t the story I’d intended to write but I allowed the story to unfold, trusting in the magic. I hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnMcZbl4K2E

 

If you’d like to hear more stories, subscribe to my YouTube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon for Tales from Pan’s Grotto from my riverbank in Wales.

 

Author. Wise woman. Goddess

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For most people, when the year date changes a new year begins. They look forward to new beginnings, better luck and a change for the better.

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My new year began at the winter solstice and I welcomed in the light. Every day gets a tiny bit longer even though the wintry weather is only just taking hold and I look forward to waking to that light and the rebirth of spring.

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The title of this blog is the title of my website but both could be replaced by ‘Me’. ‘Author’ is the easy bit. Under ‘Wise woman’ is my spirituality, teaching dance and healing but all those descriptions would fit into the ‘Goddess’ side as well. ‘Goddess’ is my personal journey, my family and my partner.

My plans are underway for the first two terms of teaching dance this year, including three workshops for my ladies, structuring my lessons to give them the best tuition and support I can. We’re going to dance more and perform less, bringing dancing to drums into our lessons and music that inspires.

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Collaboration has begun with my good friend, Peter Jones (writer, speaker, actor), to publish my first WitchLit novel ‘The Naked Witch’ and I’m excited *happy dance* Work on the next book ‘The Orphan Witch’ is underway.

Kind folk have been sharing my Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, also the name of my publishing company, where I read my WitchLit short stories and I’m thrilled. Being able to deliver my stories through such a powerful medium is a privilege and I’m looking forward to telling more stories as the seasons change on our Welsh riverbank.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

The announcement of the Literature of Wales bursary is in February. If successful, my work will focus on writing the third book in the Lilith Trilogy ‘Angel and Demons’. (Now you know why I’ve needed to make plans early!)

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The past year has been hard work but memorable. Author, wise woman and goddess finally merged together in my mind, showering me with ideas and possibilities. I’ve surprised myself in many ways. Out of these surprises has come confidence but also fear so this year, to redress the balance, the goddess will be embraced. My personal spiritual journey will come higher up the priorities.

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And I started 2017 with a sale on my pixie coats! My dad worked for Horne Brothers, Men’s Outfitting. He could tell your collar size just by looking at you. He always maintained that Horne Brothers had a proper sale, discounting the stock in the shop while other, less creditable sellers in his opinion, brought it ‘rubbish’ for their sales. ALL pixie coats, short or long length, are on sale at £25 with free postage to the UK. Dad would have called it a proper sale.

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I wish you all Bright Blessings for the coming year xx  Share the love and spread warmheartedness wherever you are xx

 

 

Tales from Pan’s Grotto

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wales-2014-058This past year, I’ve been writing and submitting short stories. Having had over a quarter of them published online and in anthologies, I decided to start my own Youtube channel, Phoenix and the Dragon, and read to you the WitchLit stories emerging from my pen right now. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCw3ee9CuNdek9ZC1Im8I_iA

I began at Samhain with a slightly longer story, Granny Hickson’s Blessings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjBDk9eogZQ

This week’s story is called Lucky and is perfect for a tea break viewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNRDQMuBv3U

If you enjoy the stories, please like, share and subscribe to the channel.

Bright Blessings xx